Waste Industry Trade Body Reacts to Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper

CIWM Stresses Dual Economic Contribution of the Waste & Recycling Industry

The UK’s Chartered Institution of Wastes Management has urged the government to pay more attention to resource productivity and security in the wake of its Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

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The UK’s Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has urged the government to pay more attention to resource productivity and security in the wake of its Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

The Institution’s response stressed the dual contribution that the resource and waste management industry can make to future UK prosperity.

Firstly it noted that it is a dynamic sector that provides over 100,000 jobs and almost £7 billion Gross Value Added to the economy, and secondly through the role it can play in improving resource productivity and efficiency in the UK through sustainable waste practices and the supply of the quality secondary raw materials and feedstocks.  

It also highlighted how the sector can help the Government to meet one of the headline aims of the new strategy, namely inclusive growth and employment, both because secondary resources derived from waste can support local economic development and because industrial growth and new housing requires appropriate waste management services and infrastructure.

The organisation argued that this potentially means more job opportunities in some of the UK’s traditional low growth/high unemployment areas.

The CIWM also stressed that transitioning to a resource efficient, low carbon economy will require a renewed focus on ‘green skills’ as part of the strategy and cites that skills related to low carbon growth, resource productivity and efficiency are increasingly important to most professions and supply chains from engineering through to architecture and manufacturing through to retail and hospitality.

CIWM chief executive Dr Colin Church commented:
“Sustainable economic growth is not just about labour productivity. The availability of resources – raw materials, water, energy, land use – will also be critical to UK industrial competitiveness and resilience and must be a cross cutting priority in the  Industrial Strategy.

“The Government’s Resource Security Action Plan, published in 2012 and due for updating, noted that growing competition for resources was already having an impact on UK businesses, with 29% of profit warnings issued by FTSE350 companies in 2011 attributed to rising resource prices. Add in other risks, such as significantly increased price volatility in some commodity markets, and the potential impact of Brexit on the availability or price of material resources needed by the UK economy, and it is not hard to see why CIWM and many others will be trying to get this message across to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“Policy making in this space must also be co-ordinated. The reliance placed by the Green Paper on Defra’s highly anticipated Defra 25 Year Environment Plan framework, which Ministers as recently as last week were promising for the current Parliament, coupled with the news of a General Election in June, should provide the necessary impetus for this important document to be published as soon as possible.”

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